Efforts to be made so Kilkenny Greenway has local 'economic dividend'

If things proceed as planned and funding can be secured, it's hoped to start construction in the first quarter of next year

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

GREENWAY

Part 8 reports for the proposed south Kilkenny project were recently approved by local councillors

Efforts will be made to realise an ‘economic dividend’ arising from the construction of the proposed new Greenway in south Kilkenny next year.

At the April meeting of the Piltown Municipal District, senior executive officer with Kilkenny County Council Brian Tyrrell said the council would work to see that people can take advantage of the economic situation and benefit from the Greenway when it is completed. He said there would be engagement with local communities and societies to allow them to tell their stories where appropriate.

Similar projects in other counties have proven an economic success, such as the Great Western Greenway in Mayo.

Part 8 reports for the proposed south Kilkenny project were recently approved by local councillors, with the next step now to tender the detailed design. At last week’s meeting, director of services Sean McKeown told the elected members he was confident this could happen in the coming weeks, with a view to getting consultants appointed by June. He said they would endeavour to have the issues and costings assessed by year-end.

The first tranche of national Greenway funding, worth about €56 million, is expected to be made available for applications around June. If Kilkenny is successful, Mr McKeown said that, all things being equal, it was hoped to start construction in the first quarter of next year.

Cllr Fidelis Doherty asked if there would be any further consultation on the project. Mr McKeown said there would be, and that the council would be engaging with people and groups such as the IFA. He said the IFA had given their commitment ‘in principle’ to the Greenway, as long as the landowners they represent are happy.

Cllr Melissa O’ Neill proposed the members meet members of Waterford Gardai, and that there had been some anti-social behaviour in the area. She said she had ‘serious concerns’ about it, and said it was important people felt safe in the community and when using the route.

Cllr Ger Frisby asked if the issue at Aylwardstown had been sorted or progressed. Mr McKeown said he was hoping to sit down with the landowner and he was ‘confident’ they would be happy with the proposed solution. Cllr Fidelis Doherty noted that Waterford’s Greenway ended up costing more than had been envisioned, and asked the council ‘try to foresee what the cost would be’.